AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he will “ratchet back” his multi-billion dollar border initiative, known as Operation Lone Star, if Republicans take back the House and Senate after Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Keep up-to-date by going to KXAN’s election page for coverage ahead of election day Nov. 8 and results.
In a one-on-one interview with KXAN’s Monica Madden on Monday, the Republican incumbent said Texas will “no longer have to be doing what we’re doing,” if the GOP wins back Congress and restores immigration policies that Abbott believes kept down illegal border crossings.
“If the Republicans do that, they fully fund border patrol, fully fund and restore ICE to the rightful position and duties on the border, return to building the border wall and reimburse the state of Texas for everything that we’ve had to spend to do the federal government’s job…that means Texas can ratchet back what we need to do to secure our own property,” Abbott said.
The governor, who is considered to be a possible 2024 presidential contender, said he is committed to serving his full term if re-elected, saying his “focus is on the great state of Texas.”
In the leading months to the election, KXAN has asked for a one-on-one interview with the governor multiple times. KXAN extended that same opportunity to his Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke, who has accepted on several other occasions.
You can watch the full one-on-one interview with Abbott below.
KXAN’s Jala Washington attended O’Rourke’s Monday rally at Texas State University to hear his final pitch to voters.
O’Rourke has been campaigning largely on restoring abortion access in Texas, reforming the state’s power grid which nearly collapsed during the 2021 February storm, finding “common sense” gun reform, and increasing funding around public education.
We will update this story to include more quotes and context from this full interview, as well as our latest one-on-one with O’Rourke. Check back for updates.